AMY SCHUMER STRUTS HER STUFF

Co­me­dian tells em­pow­er­ment tale as West­world re­turns, Chris Lack­ner writes.

Windsor Star - - CLASSIFIED -

MOVIES Big re­leases on April 20: I Feel Pretty; Su­per Troop­ers 2.

Big pic­ture: I Feel Pretty is like Big meet Shal­low Hal meets re­fresh­ing. Comic Amy Schumer plays a woman who strug­gles with body im­age and self-es­teem who wakes up from a head in­jury con­vinced she looks like a su­per­model. And, more im­por­tantly, an ac­tress such as Jen­nifer Lawrence doesn’t play her mir­ror im­age — Schumer’s trans­formed lead­ing lady looks the same. NOTH­ING has changed other than her con­fi­dence and sense of em­pow­er­ment. Sud­denly ev­ery­one — friends, bar­tenders, bar flies and bosses — no longer ig­nore or over­look her. She feels pretty, but she’s also witty. And wise. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.) Mean­while, Su­per Troop­ers 2 — largely set in a fic­tional Que­bec town — will prob­a­bly of­fend more than a few north of the bor­der. The im­be­cilic Ver­mont high­way pa­trollers from the orig­i­nal are re-as­signed to a town in the midst of an in­ter­na­tional bor­der dis­pute. In the fol­lowup to the cult com­edy clas­sic, many of the jokes are at the ex­pense of the res­i­dents of St. Georges Du Lau­rent. The Amer­i­can pa­trol­men do ev­ery­thing from speak­ing in ter­ri­ble French ac­cents while pre­tend­ing to be Moun­ties, to fight­ing bears and hockey goons. Fore­cast: I Feel Pretty feels timely. As for the com­edy se­quel, Canada hasn’t seen this much big-screen lam­poon­ing since South Park: Big­ger, Longer & Un­cut in 1999. TV Big events: West­world (April 22, HBO), Mer­cury 13 (April 20, Net­flix). Big pic­ture: Wel­come to West­world, where “amuse­ment” parks are full of sen­tient, hu­manoid “hosts” that guests can use and abuse with aban­don — only to have their cy­borg mem­o­ries wiped. What could pos­si­ble go wrong ? As we saw in the first sea­son of this sci-fi epic, the an­swer is clear: ev­ery­thing. The revo­lu­tion con­tin­ues, along with the in­tro­duc­tion of new theme parks, in­clud­ing the samu­rai-themed Shogun World.

The ex­cel­lent en­sem­ble — in­clud­ing Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie New­ton, James Mars­den and Jef­frey Wright — re­turns for more vi­o­lence, may­hem and tech­nol­ogy-fu­elled ex­is­ten­tial­ist angst. “It’s us or them,” Dolores (Wood), the pro­grammed farmer’s daugh­ter turned vi­o­lent leader, tells her fol­low­ers. With­out giv­ing too much away for the unini­ti­ated, we hu­mans prob­a­bly de­serve it. Mean­while, Mer­cury 13 is a doc­u­men­tary about the 12 as­tro­nauts that de­served to walk on the moon, but were held back by NASA be­cause of their gen­der. Mer­cury 13 is a fas­ci­nat­ing look at a secret pro­gram to re­cruit fe­male as­tro­nauts. As one puts it, “If we’re go­ing to send a hu­man be­ing into space, we need to send the ones that are most qual­i­fied.” Sound logic, in­deed.

Fore­cast: In sea­son 1, West­world un­ex­pect­edly gave us more an­swers to its cen­tral mys­ter­ies than Lost ever did. So ex­pect sea­son 2 to in­tro­duce more rid­dles.

MU­SIC

Big re­leases on April 20: Sting & Shaggy (44/876); Dono­van Woods (Both Ways).

Big pic­ture: Yup. Sting (The Po­lice front­man, rock icon) and Shaggy (Boom­bas­tic) have made a cross­over al­bum to­gether. Sure, no one asked for it. Nev­er­the­less, don’t ask and you shall re­ceive. The Bri­tish mu­sic leg­end and the Ja­maican reg­gae-pop artist fol­low a long line of such mu­si­cal mu­tants. Aero­smith and RunDMC? Michael Jack­son and Mick Jagger? Bing Crosby and David Bowie? How­ever, Lady Gaga and Tony Ben­nett aside, it isn’t com­mon these days. While ex­plain­ing their unique chem­istry, Sting re­cently added “We both have ridicu­lous names.” Nice to know he has a sense of hu­mour. Woods, of Sar­nia, Ont., is an in­die wonder turned Nashville troubadour and well-re­garded pro­ducer. Both Ways is his fifth solo al­bum. Coin­ci­den­tally, Truck Full of Money is the name of his lat­est sin­gle — also what I would give to never see Sting and Shaggy make an­other al­bum. Fore­cast: Ex­pect this odd­ball col­lab­o­ra­tion to in­spire many more. Jay-Z and ZZ Top; Ce­line Dion and Eminem; Gor­don Light­foot and Justin Bieber. @chris­lack­ner79

STX­FILMS

Amy Schumer, right, seen with Aidy Bryant, left, and Busy Philipps, re­turns to the big screen in I Feel Pretty. Schumer gains a new sense of con­fi­dence fol­low­ing a head in­jury.

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